Joe Biden took oath as the 46th president of the United States at the Capitol today, ending one of the most dramatic political transitions in American history. His deputy, Kamala Harris also took oath as the new Vice President of the United States, becoming the first Black person, first woman, and first Asian American to serve at the position.
Biden took the oath on his 127-year-old family Bible, which was held by his wife, Jill Biden.
In his first remarks, Biden said, “Here we stand days after a riotous mob thought they could silence the will of the people. It will not happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever — not ever.” Biden also pledged that he would be honest with the country as it continues to confront difficulties, saying that leaders have an obligation to “defend the truth and defeat the lies”. “Hear me out as we move forward,” Biden said.
“Democracy has prevailed,” he said after taking the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts.
Mr Biden said it was a day of “history and hope”. “My whole soul is in putting America back together again,” he added. Highlighting a message of unity after the turbulent Trump years, he promised to be a president “for all Americans” – including those who voted against him.
Former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle, former President George W. Bush and wife Laura, former President Bill Clinton and wife-former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington.
Former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Cindy McCain, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, India’s Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu also attended the event.
Former Vice-President Mike Pence also attended. He skipped Mr Trump’s farewell military salute event.
Los Angeles poet Amanda Gorman delivered a stirring poem at the inauguration Wednesday, titled “The Hill We Climb.”
The inauguration ceremony included musical performances by Lady Gaga – who sang the national anthem – as well as Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.
Mr Biden has announced a set of executive orders. In a statement on Wednesday, he said he would sign 15 orders after he is sworn in. They will:
- Reverse Mr Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accord
- Revoke the presidential permit granted to the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is opposed by environmentalists and Native American groups
- Revoke Trump policies on immigration enforcement and the emergency declaration that helped fund the construction of a Mexican border wall
- Bring about a mask and distancing mandate for federal employees and in federal buildings, and a new White House office on coronavirus
- End a travel ban on visitors from some, mainly Muslim, nations
Other orders will cover race and gender equality, along with climate issues.
An evening concert at the Lincoln Memorial in the city will be hosted by Tom Hanks and include Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, and Demi Lovato.
Calm prevailed outside heavily fortified state capitol buildings across the U.S. as Joe Biden was sworn in as president, with scattered protests in a few places.
More than 25,000 National Guards are protecting the ceremony, which is missing the traditional hundreds of thousands of spectators because of the Coronavirus pandemic. There is extra-tight security after the building was stormed by violent pro-Trump protesters in a deadly riot on 6th January.
The official swearing-in ceremony for President Joe Biden have concluded, but more events are planned throughout the day. Following his departure from the platform, Biden was expected to sign paperwork in the President’s Room within the US Capitol. Afterwards, he reviews troops outside the Capitol before departing and travelling to Arlington National Cemetery for a ceremony with former presidents in attendance,